News / Americas

Federal Troops to Help Rio Battle Gang Violence in Slums

A military police helicopter flies over the Mandela shantytown, part of the Manguinhos slum complex, as policemen patrol the area on the ground after attacks to their Pacifying Police Unit post in Rio de Janeiro, March 21, 2014.
A military police helicopter flies over the Mandela shantytown, part of the Manguinhos slum complex, as policemen patrol the area on the ground after attacks to their Pacifying Police Unit post in Rio de Janeiro, March 21, 2014.
Reuters
Brazil will deploy federal troops to Rio de Janeiro to help quell a surge in violent crime following attacks by drug traffickers on police posts in three slums on the north side of the city, government officials said on Friday.
 
Less than three months before Rio welcomes tens of thousands of foreign soccer fans for the World Cup, the attacks cast new doubts on government efforts to expel gangs from slums using a strong police presence. The city will host the Olympics in 2016.
 
Rio de Janeiro state Governor SDergio Cabral met president Dilma Rousseff on Friday morning and asked for federal troops to be deployed to help stop the attacks on police units overseeing slums across Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's second largest city.
 
“They [gangs] want us to retreat, but with the help of the president and the federal government we will continue to advance,” Cabral said after meeting with Rousseff and securing the dispatch of troops to Rio.
 
On Thursday  night, shooting broke out between drug traffickers and police in a slum near the Manguinhos complex of shantytowns. Three policemen were shot and wounded, including the Manguinhos police chief, local media reported. The attackers set fire to and destroyed the local police post housed in a converted cargo container.
 
The gangs, made up mainly of drug traffickers, knocked down power lines during the attack, leaving Manguinhos in the dark.
 
Violence is on the rise again in the slums ringing Rio that were “pacified” in recent years by police occupations as drug traffickers seek to reconquer their lost territory.
 
The backlash to the police operations in Rio has heightened concerns about security and law and order during the World Cup and the Olympics, global events that political leaders had hoped would showcase the emergence of a modern Brazil.
 
An estimated 600,000 foreign soccer fans will arrive in Brazil for the World Cup in June. Seven games will be played in Rio, including the tournament's July 13 final, in the legendary MaracanDa stadium located a few miles from the Manguinhos slums.
 
The use of excess force by the police has angered residents and led to criticism from international human right groups of alleged abuses.
 
Brazilians were shocked this week by images of a woman who was shot and then dragged along the street by a police car when her body fell out of the trunk following a shootout in a slum.
 
To date, 36 Rio slum areas have been pacified with more than 9,000 police patrolling neighborhoods where 1.5 million people live. Initial success in evicting the gangs was applauded, but the police operations have been criticized for merely displacing crime to other slums.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Raul Castro Steps Out of Brother's Shadow With US Deal

Cuban president scores diplomatic triumph, surge in support with this week's deal that ends decades of hostility with United States
More

US Report: Immigration Officials' Apprehensions Rose in 2014

Apprehensions of Mexicans fall 14 percent; those of individuals from other countries, predominantly in Central America, rise 68 percent
More

Strife, Mutual Interests Mark Cuba-US Ties

Island nation was once a vacation destination for Americans; over years, many Cubans sought refuge across the Florida Straits
More

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change
More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings
More

Cubans Imagine New, More Prosperous Life Without an Old Foe

News of the historic shift in US-Cuban relations echoed quickly through the Spanish colonial plazas of Old Havana this week
More